Bury, Edward 1794 - 1858


Bury, Edward (1794–1858), engineer, was born at Salford, near Manchester, on 22 October 1794. He went to school in city of Chester and was interested in machinery and showed ingenuity in constructing models from an early age. After school and an apprenticeship in engineering he eventually established himself at Liverpool as a manufacturer of engines.

In 1830 the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened, and for several years after this Bury devoted his attention to the construction of engines for railways. He supplied many of the first engines used on the Liverpool and Manchester and on the London and Birmingham railways, and his notable paper ‘On the locomotive engines of the London and Birmingham Railway’ appeared in the Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 17 March 1840. In this he provided detailed drawings of the engines, and tables of data on the operation of the railway and also discussed the relative advantages of four and six wheels. About this time he introduced a series of improved engines for the steamboats employed on the Rhône, which led to his being consulted by the directors of many railways then being constructed in Europe.

Bury had the entire charge of the locomotive department of the London and Birmingham Railway for some years after the opening in September 1838. He subsequently undertook the management of the whole of the rolling stock for the Great Northern Railway. On 1 February 1844 Bury was elected a fellow of the Royal Society due to improvements which he had introduced, especially in adjusting the dimensions of the cylinder and driving wheels, and the effective pressure of the steam. He was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Edward Bury retired from his professional work in 1857.

Bury married the botanical artist Priscilla Susan Bury, née Falkner (1799–1872) on 4 March 1830, at St Mary's, Walton on the Hill. The couple had at least three sons, born between 1831 and 1835. During his later years he lived at Crofton Lodge, Windermere. He died at East Villa, Scarborough, on 25 November 1858 and was survived by his wife.